Bahria Town has officially announced its arrival into the world of Pakistani media, inviting applicants from across the country to be a part of what appears to be a new media giant in the making.
By placing full page advertisements in newspapers on Sunday, the real estate company announced how it would be entering the media world with a network of newsgathering bureaus with offices in all major cities of Pakistan. “Bahria Town will provide comprehensive coverage of news, entertainment, sports and property from across the globe,” said the advertisement, adding that the company would recruit leading journalists, entertainers, sports personalities, and technical staff to create content for the network.
The media channel will also broadcast in HD formats. This announcement comes at a time when the industry is still recovering from the shock implosion of Bol TV that sank without a trace after the New York Times exposed its fraudulent practices.
Chairman Bahria Town Malik Riaz is widely acclaimed as the largest and most successful property tycoon in the country. Media industry insiders say Riaz will make a huge splash with the new channel by investing heavily in technology, human resource and international best practices.
“After the Bol TV fiasco, our industry needs a boost,” said a senior TV journalist while requesting anonymity. “Bol TV hurt us badly and hundreds of us are now jobless. A new channel promising to deliver what Bol did will be a ray of hope for us,” he says.
In recent months, the broadcast industry has seen the launch of many news channels but none have managed to dent the advertising revenue of the top channels. At present, the market is dominated by four or five channels which control the lion’s share of advertising revenue.
However, with Bahria Town’s deep pockets, there is potential for a new channel to gatecrash into the elite channels’ club. With vast financial resources at its disposal, experts believe the Bahria channel could eat into the market share of the top channels and attract the best human resource, content and advertisement rupees.
“The TV industry should brace for some major realignments,” says an industry insider. “Malik Riaz is going to make an impact. He intends to be a force to reckon with in the media,” he added.